In the past months we have already been able to get some insight in Sony’s coming virtual world Home. It seems they will launch Home somewhere around 14 October. On 13 September, Folkert Langeveld, marketing Manager Playstation Benelux, gave a presentation about Home at E-Day in Rotterdam (where we are based btw!) and gave us some more details.
Home will be completely in HD, free of use for PS3 users and mainly focused on interaction, gaming and competition. Home will offer a game room where residents can play minigames and a variety of public spaces like a cinema where film and trailers s in HD will be screened. Also, residents will have their own private apartments they can decorate themselves with a variety of (preset) objects. Residents can launch and download PS games from within Home and play against eachother. In Home, residents wiill have a PSP that they can use to control their environment, change your looks and upload pictures from your harddrive to hang them on the wall of your virtual apartment.
Langeveld pointed out that Home will be a controlled environment. As for now, there is not so much users can create themselves, even though he pointed out that “the creation of games is more and more influenced by the users and users will have more and more influence on the games”.
Sony is planning connect offline sales to the online world. Think of buying clothing in a fysical shop that has a barcode attached, with which it can be brought into the virtual world. Sony will allow external brands to advertise within Home and to offer custom and sponsored events. Residents can buy products through the PS Store and Sony is considering to offer a consumer-to-consumer marketplace in Home.
With millions of sales of the previous game consoles Sony ofcourse has a potential great user base for Home. By bringing together games, film and music in a social environment, this could just very well boost the sales of the console but moreover of the games they’re going to offer for download. The graphics and movements look amazing, so this will be tough competition for Second Life and the likes. The fact that it will be a very much controlled environment with (as far as I can see) hardly any possibilities for resentents to create their own content, I am sure that the possibilities for self expression, creativity and community building in Second Life for example will stay very appealing to a lot of users.
Here a video of the presentation where Langeveld showed the beta version of Home live (its a bit dark unfortunately)
(video by www.ckmextended.com)
Heres another video, same presentation, different camera angle